On April 10th, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, along with 28 other national organizations, signed on to a letter to several members of Congress expressing support for the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act and the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act. The full letter, also available on the Internet Tax Freedom Act Coalition’s website, is below.
On behalf of the members of organizations from a diverse political spectrum, we write today to express our strong support for the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 3086) and the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act (S. 1431). We greatly appreciate your continued leadership on this issue, and stand ready to work with you and your colleagues to ensure swift passage of legislation to make the moratorium on multiple and discriminatory taxes and taxes on Internet access permanent before the current Internet tax moratorium expires on November 1, 2014. With strong bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, these bills should be considered for passage prior to the August recess to avoid any uncertainty that will result from delay.
Internet taxation affects all Americans from all political views and all walks of life. From healthcare to education, small business entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, the Internet has dramatically transformed the way everyone lives, works, and learns. In 2010, the Internet accounted for an estimated $684 billion, or 4.7 percent of all U.S. economic activity. While the Internet was a nascent technology when the current moratorium was established in 1998, it has become the economic engine driving innovation and growth in our 21st century economy. Throttling that engine at a time when our economy is struggling hurts not only those trying to invest in America’s future, but also those who can least afford it and have the most to gain from the Internet’s potential.
By establishing tax policies that will help keep access to the Internet affordable and Internet commerce free from multiple and discriminatory taxation, more and more citizens of all economic levels will be able to participate in today’s digital economy. In fact, the impact of the Internet on the economy helped to convince a majority of the members on the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce to recommend in 2000 to make the Internet tax moratorium permanent. While the Internet tax moratorium has been extended three times since then, short-term extensions are no substitute for the certainty that will be provided by ensuring that there will never be a tax on access to the Internet.
Below are some quotes from the organizations on the letter:
“While Congress and the President want consumer adoption, investment, deployment and innovation in broadband services, allowing the imposition of onerous taxes would nullify these goals. We need to not tax what we should encourage.” Steve Pociask, President of The American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research
“Ensuring that our business members continue to have affordable and reliable internet access will allow them to remain competitive in today’s global economy. We support the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 3086) because we understand that our country is strongest when citizens of all economic levels have fair access to the internet.” Ron Busby Sr., President of U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.